[Ads-l] humdinger antedated to 1883

Ben Zimmer bgzimmer at GMAIL.COM
Tue Oct 20 05:52:48 UTC 2015


On Fri, Sep 25, 2015 at 7:51 AM, Stephen Goranson wrote:
>
> The Daily Enterprise. Livingston, Montana. June 4, 1883 Vol. 1 no. 1 p. 1 col. 2
> "The show, he says, will be a humdinger."
>
> http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85053382/1883-06-04/ed-1/seq-1/

Thanks to Stephen for this great antedating. I discuss this and other
early examples on the latest episode of the Slate podcast Lexicon
Valley.

http://www.slate.com/articles/podcasts/lexicon_valley/2015/10/lexicon_valley_the_origin_and_etymology_of_a_crackerjack_of_a_word.html

And here's my followup Word Routes column for Vocabulary.com:

http://www.vocabulary.com/articles/wordroutes/a-real-humdinger-of-an-etymology/

Many thanks to everyone who contributed early "humdinger" evidence.

--bgz

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